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Jade & Trubs

A Mutual Rescue Film, 2019

“As a parent of a special-needs child, your hopes are that they have a normal life. I never thought this would happen because of a shelter cat that no one else wanted.”
— Jessica Allen, Jade’s mom

About the Film

Trubs, an unadoptable cat with a chronic illness, and Jade, an autistic girl, form an instant and unexpected bond. Trubs senses Jade’s challenges and helps her find peace in situations that formerly caused her anguish.

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Q&A with Jessica Allen, Jade’s mom

Q: After filming your story, we learned that Trubs passed away. How did Jade react?

Jessica: Jade was very upset but knew that Trubs was in a better place and not suffering anymore. Trubs waited until we were all around him to say our goodbyes and kiss him, then closed his eyes and took his last breath—two years to the day after we adopted him. We took him to be cremated and explained the process to Jade. She has his ashes along with her picture with him in her room. She prays to him every night. When I explained to her that he was in heaven, she had a big smile and said, “My angel kitty will always be with me!”

Q: What was Jade’s reaction to the film and the Mutual Rescue book that includes her story?

Jessica: Jade loved seeing herself on the big screen at the premiere, it was a dream come true for her. She gets ecstatic when anyone asks her about her film. When we received the Mutual Rescue book, Jade’s face was lit up with excitement. She couldn’t believe she was in there! Just seeing her read her story from a book, we can’t explain how grateful we are for this. She couldn’t stop smiling!! She always asks the question, “Mommy, will everyone love my story as much as we loved Trubs?” She carries that book wherever she goes and I find her reading it over and over again. Reading the other stories out loud to us makes us proud at how far she has come and honored to be a part of this experience with her. Since filming, we’ve relocated from Illinois to Tennessee to North Carolina. Jade started at a new school and has made new friends. She was very shy and nervous at first. I told her teacher that Jade’s story was featured in the Mutual Rescue book and she invited Jade to do a show-and-tell with it. All her nervousness subsided when she talked about Trubs. The kids loved her story and thought it was cool, so now she’s known at school as the “celebrity in a book.” She has transitioned very well.

Q: What are your hopes for the film?

Jessica: We want to bring awareness that animals help people as much as people help animals—especially children with special needs. Also, to give a special-needs animal the chance to have a loving and caring home, not to pass up an animal just because of his looks or his past or medical issues. When we adopted Trubs, I was taught how to give IV fluids and everyday oral meds to him. With his being in a home and being shown love and attention, he didn’t require any of these. It takes time and patience to build up that bond, it just came more quickly with Jade and Trubs. They were meant to cross paths and help each other.

Q: When the film was screened for the first time at the 2018 Mutual Rescue Film Festival, what was the experience like for you?

Jessica: The experience of being flown out to California and sharing her story in front of so many people and seeing the positive reactions on their faces was really priceless for us. We hoped and prayed that we would get a good response and people would open their hearts to them. The whole process and being able to have that one-on-one time with Jade and be there for her story was just so heartwarming. We feel people really took her story in and it opened their eyes to a beautiful, unexpected bond. Everyone was so welcoming and made us feel like family. All the compliments and praises we got was overwhelming. We are still trying to process that we are on this journey to spread awareness.

Q: What advice would you give to people considering adopting an animal companion?

Jessica: Please, please, please adopt! Open your heart to a new furry companion. I can guarantee you won’t regret it. Don’t judge an animal because of age, looks, or needs. A lot of people pass on the older animals because they think they are too much work. I can guarantee they still have a lot of love and loyalty to give you!

Q: What would Jade like us to know as her film is released to the public?

Jessica: Jade wants you all to know that she is super grateful for all this attention and help spreading her story. She can’t wait for the film to be shared so more people can see how much she and Trubs loved each other. She misses him every single day and knows he’s watching over her from “the rainbow.” We adopted a kitty, Sherman, from the Nashville Metro Animal Control, who had found him abandoned in a box. Jade wanted a companion as close to Trubs as she could find. She knew he wouldn’t be able to ever take his place but wanted to mend her broken heart and give a kitty a home. Sherman looks just like Trubs. He’s the sweetest and acts so much like Trubs. He gives hugs and kisses and loves his snuggles with Jade. She sometimes calls him “Baby Trubs.” Our hope is that Jade can thrive, mature, and grow from this life-changing event. We hope this film makes a positive impact by inspiring even more people to adopt homeless animals!

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